Kodak Black was one of the most successful young rappers of the late 2010s, establishing himself as a rising star to watch before a series of controversies derailed his career. Where did he grow up?
Kodak Black, born Dieuson Octave before changing his legal name to Bill K. Kapri, was born and raised in Pompano Beach, Florida. He was raised by his mother, Marcelene Octave, who was a Haitian immigrant. He took the nickname “Black” as a child but later added Kodak after using it as his Instagram username.
For more on Kodak Black’s origins and his path to fame, read on.
Dieuson Octave was born in Pompano Beach, Florida on June 11, 1997. His mother was Marcelene Octave, a Haitian immigrant who separated from his father while Dieuson was very young, leaving her to raise him alone.
Dieuson later changed his name to Bill K. Kapri. He was raised in Golden Acres, a housing project in his hometown of Pompano Beach.
He began using the nickname “Black” when he was six years old and was sometimes called “Lil’ Black”. He chose the Instagram username “Kodak Black” because of the name’s ties to photography and later adopted it as his stage name.
Black discovered rap while in elementary school and visited a local drug house to record tracks after school. He regularly read dictionaries and thesauruses to expand his vocabulary and enhance his raps
His youth saw him frequently getting in trouble with the authorities, both in school and beyond. Black and his friends frequently got into fights with other youths and broke into properties.
Black’s propensity for fighting saw him expelled from school while he was in the fifth grade and he was later arrested for stealing a car while in middle school. He felt that there were only two options to make a living: selling drugs or rapping.
Black began releasing solo mixtapes, first “Project Baby” in 2013, followed by “Heart of the Projects” in 2014 and “Institution” in 2015. His profile received a significant boost when Drake posted an Instagram video of himself dancing to “Skrt”, one of Black’s songs, in October 2015.
Riding the wave of momentum created by the Drake video, Black signed with Atlantic Records less than a month later.
Success and Arrests
Even as his rap career reached new heights, Black’s personal life was marked by frequent controversy and legal issues. In 2016, he was arrested and charged with possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, the result of previous arrests for robbery and battery.
After being released, he was arrested again a month later for alleged armed robbery and false imprisonment. He released “Can I” during this period while in jail.
Black pleaded no contest to the charges and was placed under house arrest for a year with five years’ probation. This would be an ongoing pattern for the young rapper, releasing music, and enjoying commercial success but frequently being sidetracked by his legal issues.
In February 2017, he released “Tunnel Vision”, which became his first Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart when it reached number 6. The following month, his debut studio album, “Painting Pictures”, was released and reached number 3 in Billboard’s album chart.
His second album, “Dying to Live” climbed to greater heights, reaching number 1 for a week.
Black’s legal issues worsened in 2019, however, when he was arrested for alleged firearms charges again. Prosecutors cited his numerous previous arrests as evidence that he was a danger to society.
He ultimately took a plea bargain and was sentenced to 46 months in prison, a sentence that could be lengthened by another alleged firearms possession case that is ongoing at the time of writing.